The Rule of Christian Faith, Practice, and Hope: John Wesley on the Bible

Randy L. Maddox


John Wesley insisted that a good theologian must be a good textuary (student of biblical texts). This essay surveys his model as a textuary, highlighting insights from recent secondary studies and providing some new evidence from just-released sources. The first section focuses on what Bible Wesley read, probing his assumptions about canon and his emphasis on studying Scripture in the original languages. The second section details several dimensions of how Wesley read the Bible, with particular attention to his "theological" reading of Scripture and the identification of his distinctive "working canon." The final section turns to why Wesley read the Bible, stressing that he valued Scripture for more than just a guide to Christian faith. His strongest emphasis was on Scripture as a "means of grace" for nurturing Christian life, and his life-long practice of immersion in Scripture served to sustain and broaden his sense of the Christian hope.


John Wesley; Rule of Faith; Innerrancy; Scripture

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